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General English Courses

Our most popular programme, General English, covers all the four key skills, provides learner support through individual tutorials and offers a supportive learning environment for students of all levels. Whether you are just starting to learn or are well on your way to proficiency, these programmes will give you what you need to go further.

General English 15

  • Class size: Max 14
  • Mon-Fri class hours: 15
  • AM09:00 to 12:25
    PM15:00 to 18:20

    General English 20

  • Class size: Max 14
  • Mon-Fri class hours: 20
  • General English 15 followed by 5 x 1-hour General Skills or Exam Skills

    Main Course Additional Hours Each Day
    AM09:00 to 12:251 hour between 12:35 to 14:45

    Intensive English

    The Intensive programme suits students who need to get more study into a shorter period of time or who want to dedicate each day to studying. Built on the General English programme, it also includes skills classes focused on key skill areas such as pronunciation.

    The programme gives students a chance to immerse themselves in a constructive learning environment, while leaving time in the day to explore London.

    General English 25

  • Class size: Max 14
  • Mon-Fri class hours: 25
  • General English 15 followed by 10 x 1 hour of General Skills or Exam Skills

    Main CourseAdditional Hours Each Day
    Intensive 25 09:00 to 12:252 hours between 12:35 to 14:45

    Academic Year and Semester Programmes

    We are pleased to offer these great, value for money, long term programmes. These are the right choice for learners who have time to give to really master their English. Available as either 24 or 32 week programmes, with flexi-holiday dates, they are the most economical way to study for an extended period.

    The programmes also offer choice – if you are of the right level, you can move to either IELTS preparation or one of our ESP programmes. The academic team will advise you throughout your course of study and help you make the right choice at the right time to suit you.

    Academic Year

  • Class size: Max 14
  • Duration: 24 or 32 weeks tuition
  • Weekly class hours: see below

    Main Course Additional Hours Each Day
    AY 15 AM09:00 to 12:25
    AY 15 PM15:00 to 18:20
    AY 25 AM09:00 to 12:251 hour between 12:35 to 14:45
    AY 25 PM09:00 to 12:252 hour between 12:35 to 14:45

    Course Description

    This level is intended for learners who already have some basic knowledge of English and have achieved all or most of the objectives at beginner level. For example, they can understand basic signs and instructions, give very basic descriptions about themselves and ask and respond to simple questions. Some examples of the skills learnt at this level are:

  • Understand basic notices, signs, simple textbooks and reports, written and spoken instructions and information
  • Take part in a simple factual conversation on a familiar topic and express basic needs and opinions
  • Fill in simple forms and write short notes with times, dates and places as well as simple letters /postcards with personal information
  • For more detailed information on course content, please see the various objectives outlined below.

    Communicative Objectives

    At the end of this level, I will be able to:

    Speaking

  • Ask people how they feel in different situations. For example, “Are you hungry?” or “Are you ok?” and say how I feel.
  • Ask and answer simple questions about home and country, work and free time, likes and dislikes.
  • Ask and answer simple questions about a past event. For example, the time and place of a party, who was at the party and what happened there.
  • Make and accept invitations, or refuse invitations politely.
  • Make and accept apologies.
  • Listening

  • Understand simple information and questions about family, people homes, work and hobbies.
  • Understand what people say to me in simple, everyday conversation, if they speak clearly and slowly and give me help.
  • Understand short, clear and simple messages at the airport, railway station etc. For example: “The train to London leaves at 4.30.”
  • Clearly understand the main information in announcements if people talk very clearly. For example, weather reports etc.
  • Writing

  • Write a simple message, for example to make or change an invitation or an appointment to meet.
  • Write a short message to friends to give them personal news or to ask them a question. For example, a text message or a postcard.
  • Complete a questionnaire with information about my educational background, my job, my interests and my skills.
  • Write about things and people I know well using simple language. For example, descriptions of friends, what happened during the day.

  • Reading

  • Understand short, simple texts containing familiar vocabulary including international words.
  • Find the most important information in advertisements, information leaflets, webpages, catalogues, timetables etc.
  • Understand the main points in short, simple news items and descriptions if I already know something about the subject. For example: news about sport or famous people.
  • Understand short simple messages from friends. For example: e-mails, web chats, postcards or short letters.

  • Strategies

  • Start a conversation.
  • Explain what I don’t understand and ask simply for clarification.
  • Start, maintain, or end a short conversation in a simple way.
  • Ask somebody to repeat what they said in a simpler way.

  • Grammar Objectives

  • Adjectives – comparatives – use of ‘’than’ and definite article
  • Adjectives – superlative – use of definite article
  • Adverbial phrases of time, place and frequency – including word order
  • Adverbs of frequency
  • Articles – with countable and uncountable nouns
  • Countables and uncountables – much / many
  • Future time (will and going to)
  • Gerunds
  • Going to
  • Modals – can / could
  • Modals – have to
  • Modals – should
  • Past continuous
  • Past simple
  • Phrasal verbs – common
  • Possessives – use of ‘s s’
  • Prepositional phrases (place, time and movement)
  • Prepositions of time: on / in / at
  • Present continuous
  • Present continuous for future
  • Present perfect
  • Questions
  • Verb +ing / infinitive: like / want- would like
  • Wh-questions in past

  • Vocabulary Objectives

  • Adjectives, personality, description
  • Feelings
  • Food and drink
  • Things in the town, shops and shopping
  • Travel and services
  • Course Description

    This level is intended for learners who have already achieved all or most of the objectives at elementary level. Typically they are already able to hold limited conversations with others and understand and respond to various forms of short written and spoken input . Some examples of the skills learnt at this level are:

  • Talking about basic needs and opinions
  • Understanding basic information on signs, products, simple textbooks and reports on familiar topics
  • Filling in forms and writing simple letters / postcards related to personal information
  • For more detailed information on course content, please see the various objectives outlined below.


    Communicative Objectives

    At the end of this level, I will be able to:

    Speaking

  • Ask people how they feel in different situations. For example, “Are you hungry?” or “Are you ok?” and say how I feel.
  • Ask and answer simple questions about home and country, work and free time, likes and dislikes.
  • Ask and answer simple questions about a past event. For example, the time and place of a party, who was at the party and what happened there.
  • Make and accept invitations, or refuse invitations politely.
  • Make and accept apologies.

  • Listening

  • Understand simple information and questions about family, people homes, work and hobbies.
  • Understand what people say to me in simple, everyday conversation, if they speak clearly and slowly and give me help.
  • Understand short, clear and simple messages at the airport, railway station etc. For example: “The train to London leaves at 4.30.”
  • Clearly understand the main information in announcements if people talk very clearly. For example, weather reports etc.

  • Writing

  • Write a simple message, for example to make or change an invitation or an appointment to meet.
  • Write a short message to friends to give them personal news or to ask them a question. For example, a text message or a postcard.
  • Complete a questionnaire with information about my educational background, my job, my interests and my skills.
  • Write about things and people I know well using simple language. For example, descriptions of friends, what happened during the day.

  • Reading

  • Understand short, simple texts containing familiar vocabulary including international words.
  • Find the most important information in advertisements, information leaflets, webpages, catalogues, timetables etc.
  • Understand the main points in short, simple news items and descriptions if I already know something about the subject. For example: news about sport or famous people.
  • Understand short simple messages from friends. For example: e-mails, web chats, postcards or short letters.

  • Strategies

  • Start a conversation.
  • Explain what I don’t understand and ask simply for clarification.
  • Start, maintain, or end a short conversation in a simple way.
  • Ask somebody to repeat what they said in a simpler way.

  • Grammar Objectives

  • Adjectives – comparatives – use of ‘’than’ and definite article
  • Adjectives – superlative – use of definite article
  • Adverbial phrases of time, place and frequency – including word order
  • Adverbs of frequency
  • Articles – with countable and uncountable nouns
  • Countables and uncountables – much / many
  • Future time (will and going to)
  • Gerunds
  • Going to
  • Imperatives
  • Modals – can / could
  • Modals – have to
  • Modals – should
  • Past continuous
  • Past simple
  • Phrasal verbs – common
  • Possessives – use of ‘s s’
  • Prepositional phrases (place, time and movement)
  • Prepositions of time: on / in / at
  • Present continuous
  • Present continuous for future
  • Present perfect
  • Questions
  • Verb +ing / infinitive: like / want- would like
  • Wh-questions in past
  • Zero and 1st Conditional
  • Adverbs
  • Broader range of interaction such as too, enough
  • Comparatives and superlatives
  • Connecting words expressing cause and effect, contrast etc
  • Modals – might / may, will, probably
  • Modals – must / have to
  • Past continuous
  • Past simple
  • Past tense responses
  • Phrasal verbs, extended
  • Present perfect/ past simple
  • Simple passive
  • Wh- questions in the past
  • Will and going to, for prediction

  • Vocabulary Objectives

  • Adjectives, personality, description
  • Feelings
  • Food and drink
  • Things in the town, shops and shopping
  • Travel and services
  • Course Description

    This level is intended for learners who have already achieved all or most of the objectives at pre-intermediate level. Typically they are already able to talk / ask about past events, accept/refuse invitations, understand simple texts form a variety of different sources and write short messages and descriptions . Some examples of the skills learnt at this level are:

  • Giving basic opinions on abstract/cultural matters
  • Understanding instructions and public announcements
  • Offering advice on familiar topics
  • Understanding simple information and articles as well as general meaning of more specialized information on familiar topics
  • Writing letters and taking notes on familiar topics

  • For more detailed information on course content, please see the various objectives outlined below.


    Communicative Objectives

    Speaking

  • Start, maintain and close face-to face conversations on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Give or seek personal opinions in an informal discussion with friends, agreeing and disagreeing politely.
  • Have simple telephone conversations with people you know.
  • Ask for and follow detailed directions.
  • Give descriptions on a variety of familiar subjects related to my interests.
  • Talk in detail about your experiences, feelings and reactions.
  • Briefly explain and justify your opinions.
  • Give a short prepared presentation on a very familiar area. (e.g. ‘My country’) and answer clear questions.

  • Listening

  • Understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar, everyday subjects, provided there is an opportunity to get repetition or clarification sometimes.
  • Understand the main points of discussion on familiar topics in everyday situations when people speak clearly, but you will sometimes need help in understanding details.
  • Follow clearly spoken, straightforward short talks on familiar topics.
  • Understand simple technical information, such as operating instructions for familiar types of equipment.

  • Writing

  • Write short, comprehensible connected texts on familiar subjects.
  • Write simple texts about experiences or events, for example about a trip, describing my feelings and reactions.
  • Write emails, faxes, or text messages to friend or colleagues, relating news and giving or asking for simple information.
  • Write a short formal letter asking for or giving simple information.

  • Reading

  • Understand the main points in straightforward factual texts on subjects of personal or professional interest well enough to talk about them afterwards.
  • Find and understand the information you need in brochures, leaflets and other short texts relating to your interests.
  • Understand the main points in short newspaper and magazine articles about current and familiar topics.
  • Understand private letters about events, feelings and wishes well enough to write back.

  • Strategies

  • Ask someone to clarify or elaborate what they have just said.
  • Repeat back part of what someone has just said to confirm that you understand them.
  • When you can’t think of a word, you will be able to use a word meaning something similar and invite ‘correction’ from the person you are talking to.
  • Ask for confirmation that a form is correct and correct some basic mistake if you have time to do so.

  • Grammar Objectives

  • Adverbs
  • Broader range of interaction such as too, enough
  • Comparatives and superlatives
  • Complex question tags
  • Conditionals, 2nd, 3rd
  • Connecting words expressing cause and effect, contrast etc
  • Future continuous
  • Modals – must / can’t (for deduction)
  • Modals – might / may, will, probably
  • Modals – should have / might have
  • Modals – must / have to
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect
  • Past simple
  • Past tense responses
  • Phrasal verbs, extended
  • Present perfect continuous
  • Present perfect/ past simple
  • Reported speech (range of tenses)
  • Simple passive
  • Wh- questions in the past
  • Will and going to, for prediction

  • Vocabulary Objectives

  • Collocation
  • Colloquial language
  • Things in the town, shops and shopping
  • Travel and services
  • Course Description

    This level is intended for learners who have already achieved all or most of the objectives at intermediate level. Typically they are already able to give basic opinions on abstract/cultural matters, understand instructions and public announcements and simple articles, offer advice on familiar topics and write letters etc on familiar topics. Some examples of the skills learnt at this level are:

  • Understanding or giving a talk on a familiar topic
  • Participating in and maintaining a conversation on a wide range of topics
  • Scan reading texts for information
  • Following detailed instructions and advice
  • Taking notes while someone is talking
  • Writing letters including unusual requests

  • For more detailed information on course content, please see the various objectives outlined below.


    Communicative Objectives

    Speaking

  • Take active part in conversation, expressing clearly my points of view, ideas or feelings naturally with effective turn-taking.
  • Evaluate advantages and disadvantages and participate in reaching a decision in formal or informal discussion.
  • Sustain my opinions in discussion by providing relevant explanations, arguments and comments.
  • Use the telephone to find out detailed information, provided the other person speaks clearly, and ask follow up questions to check that I have understood a point fully.
  • Give clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to my fields of interest.
  • Develop a clear argument, linking my ideas logically and expanding and supporting my points with appropriate examples.
  • Present a topical issue in a critical manner and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
  • Summarise information and arguments from a number of sources such as articles or reports, discussions, interviews, presentations etc
  • Summarise orally the plot and sequence of events in a film or play.

  • Listening

  • Understand the main ideas of complex speech on concrete and abstract topics delivered in a standard dialect, including technical discussions in my field of specialisation.
  • Understand in detail what is said to me in standard spoken language.
  • With some effort catch much of what is said around me, but I may find it difficult to understand a discussion between several speakers who do not modify their language in any way.
  • Follow TV drama and the majority of films in standard dialect.
  • Understand TV news, current affairs, documentaries, interviews, talk shows, etc.

  • Writing

  • Write at length about topical issues, even though complex concepts may be oversimplified, and can correct many of my mistakes in the process.
  • Write clear, detailed descriptions on a variety of subjects related to my field of interest.
  • Express news, views and feelings in correspondence, and respond to those of the other person.
  • Write standard formal letters requesting or communicating relevant information, following a template.

  • Reading

  • Read with a large degree of independence, using dictionaries and other reference sources selectively when necessary.
  • Understand articles, reports and reviews in which the writers express specific points of view (e.g. political commentary, critiques of exhibitions, plays, films etc.)
  • Rapidly grasp the content and the significance of news, articles and reports on topics connected with my interests or my job, and decide if a closer reading is worthwhile.
  • Understand the main points in formal and informal letters relating to my personal and professional interests, with occasional use of a dictionary.

  • Strategies

  • Use standard phrases like, “That’s a difficult question to answer.” To gain time and keep the turn while formulating what to say.
  • Help a discussion along on familiar ground confirming comprehension, inviting others in, etc.
  • Generally correct slips and errors if I become aware of them or if they have led to misunderstandings.
  • Make a note of “favourite mistakes” and consciously monitor speech for them.
  • Grammar Objectives

  • Adjectives and adverbs
  • Future continuous
  • Future perfect
  • Future perfect continuous
  • Mixed conditionals
  • Modals – can’t have, needn’t have
  • Modals of deduction and speculation
  • Narrative tenses
  • Passives
  • Past perfect
  • Past perfect continuous
  • Phrasal verbs, extended
  • Relative clauses
  • Reported speech
  • Will and going to, for prediction
  • Wish
  • Would expressing habits, in the past

  • Vocabulary Objectives

  • Collocation
  • Colloquial language
  • Do you need to know more

    For further information on any of the English courses we provide, contact the UK College of English today on +44 (0) 207 734 6485

    At the UK College of English we have a wide variety of English study courses in London to suit various needs. If this is not the right course for you, get in touch and let our team help find you one more suitable.